Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Techno-quette => Topic started by: nikkib on March 30, 2013, 11:38:36 AM

Title: Friends' divorce + infidelity + lovechild on Facebook
Post by: nikkib on March 30, 2013, 11:38:36 AM
Ok so one of my close friends announced she and her husband were splitting up about 5 months ago, and my DH and I went to high school with both of them and we have been "couple friends" for years now, so the announcement came as a total shock to everyone including us...especially since she always went over the top acting like their marriage was perfect and they were OMGSOINLOVE!!! She told me privately he had been cheating, and he supposedly told her he didn't ever really love her...so I felt awful for her, and for their 5 year old son and daughter who was only 5 months old at the time (and of whom my DH and I had been asked to be informal godparents to). One thing I was grateful for though was that since we had just moved halfway across the country, we wouldn't have to deal with the awkwardness of their breakup/divorce in person at least. I did have some suspicions for a while before all of this though about her inappropriately close relationship with her "BFF" that happened to be a guy - AND her now-soon-to-be-ex-SIL's ex-BF (crazy complicated I know lol) and she seemed to move on to a relationship with him pretty quickly...well fast forward to just a couple of months ago, and she randomly calls me to interrogate me about "what I know" - to which I responded "About WHAT?!?" and over the course of that conversation she confesses that she too had cheated on her husband, and ***drumroll please*** her daughter wasn't her husband's, but the "BFF"/new boyfriend's. She told me she had known all through her pregnancy it wasn't her husband's, and he supposedly had known also but they were going to try to make their marriage work despite everything and he would raise the baby as his own. I was flabbergasted of course, but tried to tell myself it was her life and she was the only one who was going to have to deal with that nightmare (since thankfully we had moved away lol)

Now, fast forward again to just a couple weeks ago when we went back to our old hometown to visit for spring break, and with her being one of our closest friends naturally I assumed we would be seeing her while we were there...well after my first attempt to make arrangements with her, she asked if it was ok if she brought the new BF along - and after discussing it with my DH, we both agreed it was just too much for us to process and deal with at one time (adjusting to not seeing her with her husband, who my DH had been close with as well, to now seeing the baby and recognizing she has a different father than we originally thought, to now trying to accept her new BF/baby daddy) so I explained that to her as nicely as possible, and rather than being understanding she decided to instead refuse to see us while we were there if we wouldn't let her bring him too. Much drama and ridiculousness ensued, and in the end we left after a week and only saw her - by chance - for about 20 minutes total. I was incredibly hurt by her attitude and unreasonable behavior, and after we got back home she and I exchanged multiple pointless, frustrating FB messages where she basically refused to see where we were coming from and just kept going on and on about how IN LOOOOOVE she is now and how he is "part of her package" and we needed to embrace him. :/

Our visit also brought to light another somewhat related issue though, since various mutual friends and acquaintances I have with her kept asking me (knowing I was closer to her) what was the deal with the new guy who was suddenly present in all of her pics...which made me realize she hadn't actually been very clear that she and her husband were even getting a divorce, MUCH LESS the fact that he was not the father of her baby! She had changed her relationship status from "married" to "separated" for like a week when they first split up, and then to "in a relationship" right around Halloween, but when someone tried to question her about it she laughed it off and said "I mean with candy corn! hehe!" so she really hadn't been very honest about it at all. She has over 700 friends, and I know there is no way she is close with ALL of those 700 people so of course they wouldn't know what is going on with her in real life, and I also realize she has no obligation to most of them to explain anything...but she is also more than open now with pictures of the new BF with the baby, captioned "Daddy" and the like, so clearly she isn't hiding the fact...

Fast forward one more time to just a couple days ago, and she and I had a very heated phone conversation where I was trying to tell her about the confusion our mutual friends & acquaintances had about her marriage/new relationship and how did she plan to handle explaining the situation with her daughter's true paternity? Her answer was that she just figured everyone could "figure it out" on their own, and if they wanted to ask her then she would tell them. I told her that no one is ever going to do that (I know I never would have!) because even if they did suspect her husband wasn't the father they would never come out and ask her out of respect for her privacy and to avoid receiving an awkward denial/confession... I realize that in this day and age with social networking we are in uncharted territory when it comes to handling complex, personal news such as this, but what do you all think she should do? I told her I certainly don't know how I would handle it if it were me, but I sure as heck DO know the way she is going about EVERYTHING is wrong. Our friendship is pretty much hanging by a thread right now, since I've done my best not to judge her based on the mistakes she made (she has no problem admitting the cheating and everything was a mistake and her fault - NOW, though not initially when she tried to blame it on her husband cheating first) My anger at her comes from her behavior and actions since.

Honestly, she is a total drama queen and thrives on situations such as this (which she always creates for herself) so saving our friendship at this point doesn't even matter to me...especially since we moved anyways. SHE however, has taken to begging and pleading and crying for me to not be angry with her, to which I just told her I guess whenever we go out there again for another visit we will see how everyone feels at that time and take it from there. This whole thing is just so ridiculous and annoying :/ After our phone conversation she posted a status talking about how she "had been informed that there might be some confusion out there about her life, and if anyone wants to ask her anything feel free to PM her" but then she started rambling about "And NO, I'm not gay, despite my recent avid support of gay marriage rights! hehe" which I felt completely deflected from the seriousness of the first part of her post and successfully distracted everyone since she and one of her gay friends went back and forth in the comments for a while about how funny it would be if anyone thought she was gay. She did have one friend comment and ask her why doesn't she just come out and say what it is once and be done with it, to which she responded that she would much rather handle it "one-on-one" than post it publicly...

I am just at a total loss trying to figure out what the best course of action would be in this situation, since I definitely cannot imagine what I would do if I were in her shoes (which I seriously doubt I EVER would be) but she has made no secret of her new relationship and seemingly his relation to the baby, but for those who aren't as active on FB or aren't very observant, they would definitely miss all of the "clues" she thinks she is leaving. So my issues with her are of both the standard etiquette and techno-quette type, as follows:

1. How should a divorce announcement be handled on FB? Especially with children involved, a multitude of mutual friends and goal of maintaining amicability? Oh and can't forget about the mutual infidelity too...

2. How soon after such a divorce/separation should mutual friends be expected to accept the new BF/GF? In this case, no divorce or separation papers have even been filed yet nor do they seem to be in a hurry to do so, so it is hard to expect a typical timeframe for being "officially divorced" :/

3. What obligation, if any, could someone be expected to have to explain the true paternity of their child on FB? Especially when they are in a new relationship with the true father, and seem to make no secret of his relation...but haven't come right out and said it.

In my friend's case, I'm pretty sure she is avoiding making it public knowledge what she did because she A. Doesn't want people to think badly of her or for her friend count to go down, and B. She knows she will feel the need to justify her actions by using the excuse that her husband was cheating first, and she claims she does not want to sully his name or embarrass him. She even had the gall to say it was "out of respect for him and his family" (after cheating on him with his sister's ex-BF!) Oh and I forgot to mention she actually facilitated the breakup of the ex-SIL and her BF, since he had "confided in her" that he didn't love the SIL anymore and wanted to break up with her but didn't know how...and then confessed he actually had a "crush" on my MARRIED friend :| But even after all that, they continued to be "BFFs" and obviously ended up screwing each other. *smh*

Ok that is the end of my little novella for now, please HELP! :/
Title: Re: Friends' divorce + infidelity + lovechild on Facebook
Post by: Pen^2 on March 30, 2013, 11:57:46 AM
Gaah wall of text...  :o

Honestly, she is a total drama queen and thrives on situations such as this (which she always creates for herself) so saving our friendship at this point doesn't even matter to me...especially since we moved anyways.

You've solved your own problem right here.

As for your questions...

No-one has any obligation to announce anything publicly, on social media sites or otherwise, which is a personal or family matter. Paternity and divorce both come under this heading. Frankly, it's none of anyone else's business, and if they can't cope with not knowing, then they've been watching far too much trashy daytime television. If your 'friend' does not portray herself consistently on facebook or anywhere else for that matter, she will simply have to deal with it when confusion naturally arises in conversation and the like. But the notion that anyone is obligated to announce such personal things online is absurd at best. Any announcement is made only because one wants one's friends and family to know something, not because one is somehow bound to tell them. If she doesn't want certain things known, that's all there is to it.

With accepting new partners, that depends of course on the people involved. There is no single rule for everyone. Although I would strongly advise against poisoning the well and forming poor opinions of someone unaware and innocent of past drama.
Title: Re: Friends' divorce + infidelity + lovechild on Facebook
Post by: kckgirl on March 30, 2013, 12:30:54 PM
Pen^2 said what I would have said, only better. Friend has no obligation to announce anything. Everything you discussed here, even though it seems to have you distraught, is actually nobody's business.
Title: Re: Friends' divorce + infidelity + lovechild on Facebook
Post by: Onyx_TKD on March 30, 2013, 12:34:48 PM
Gaah wall of text...  :o

Honestly, she is a total drama queen and thrives on situations such as this (which she always creates for herself) so saving our friendship at this point doesn't even matter to me...especially since we moved anyways.

You've solved your own problem right here.

As for your questions...

No-one has any obligation to announce anything publicly, on social media sites or otherwise, which is a personal or family matter. Paternity and divorce both come under this heading. Frankly, it's none of anyone else's business, and if they can't cope with not knowing, then they've been watching far too much trashy daytime television. If your 'friend' does not portray herself consistently on facebook or anywhere else for that matter, she will simply have to deal with it when confusion naturally arises in conversation and the like. But the notion that anyone is obligated to announce such personal things online is absurd at best. Any announcement is made only because one wants one's friends and family to know something, not because one is somehow bound to tell them. If she doesn't want certain things known, that's all there is to it.

With accepting new partners, that depends of course on the people involved. There is no single rule for everyone. Although I would strongly advise against poisoning the well and forming poor opinions of someone unaware and innocent of past drama.

I would add that people may be obligated not to post/announce information that involves other people's personal and family information. So, posting the fact that you've separated or divorced? Absolutely fine, if you wish. Posting the details of why you're divorcing? Questionable. Posting that you have a new boyfriend/girlfriend after your separation and/or divorce? Fine, if you wish. Posting that you and your ex cheated on one another? Questionable, and you better be confident you won't mind having that information out on the internet in black and white forever. Putting details of your child's paternity online? IMO, probably inappropriate. That's not information that just impacts the mother. That is publicly announcing the child's personal information, which that child may not want to have out there. It's also getting into details of the husband's and biological father's personal relationships, too. However, while those adults might carry some responsibility for the situation and/or give their consent for the announcement, the child is the 100% absolutely innocent party whose privacy would be violated.

OP, you appear to have lost all respect for your friend, due to both the situation itself and her handling of it. Her "'fessing up" on facebook is not the solution to that, especially not if it's due to you pressuring her. If you no longer consider her a friend, then do yourself a favor and walk away. If you still want her as a friend, then you'll have to find a way to let go of this.
Title: Re: Friends' divorce + infidelity + lovechild on Facebook
Post by: MorgnsGrl on March 30, 2013, 12:38:41 PM
I think you are way more caught up in this than you need to be. It sounds like she's been through a lot if it's true that her husband was cheating on her and telling her that he didn't love her before she started seeing her new BF, and like she could have used some support from you instead of you refusing to see her with her new partner. I'm not saying you don't have the right to do what you need to for your own emotional sanity, I'm just saying it must have been hard for her, too. If you don't want to be friends with her anymore, let it go and move on.
Title: Re: Friends' divorce + infidelity + lovechild on Facebook
Post by: Sharnita on March 30, 2013, 01:51:39 PM
I do think there could be some etiquette issues here in that she is not obligated to tell people anything but then people might ask about her (ex)husband, mention his (kinda) child, the child's (maybe/maybe not) grandparents, etc.  If this is a smaller town then there will be ties when these people cross paths so not cluing in others could make it all a lot more awkward.  I am not sure how you would tell people, when you should tell people, etc. but it seems really problematic not to share at least some of the information. 
Title: Re: Friends' divorce + infidelity + lovechild on Facebook
Post by: citadelle on March 30, 2013, 02:01:00 PM
I am struck by the fact that you were glad to be moving away during her difficult time so that you could avoid "awkwardness", but have somehow become embroiled in awkward anyway.

I can't imagine an appropriate way to announce such personal information on Facebook. Why does she owe anyone the details of her divorce or especially her child's paternity? That's really personal, and not something that should be posted to 700 "friends".

Ask yourself how much of this affects you? Maybe the bit about meeting her new BF, but anything else? I don't see how. As for meeting him, wait if you'd like. But it sounds like your friend can sense that you are looking down on her choices and may assume that is why you don't want to meet him, as a punishment for her bad behavior. If that's true, you might want to rethink your involvement with her. If it isn't true, you could reconsider your decision.
Title: Re: Friends' divorce + infidelity + lovechild on Facebook
Post by: Sharnita on March 30, 2013, 02:06:10 PM
I am struck by the fact that you were glad to be moving away during her difficult time so that you could avoid "awkwardness", but have somehow become embroiled in awkward anyway.

I can't imagine an appropriate way to announce such personal information on Facebook. Why does she owe anyone the details of her divorce or especially her child's paternity? That's really personal, and not something that should be posted to 700 "friends".

Ask yourself how much of this affects you? Maybe the bit about meeting her new BF, but anything else? I don't see how. As for meeting him, wait if you'd like. But it sounds like your friend can sense that you are looking down on her choices and may assume that is why you don't want to meet him, as a punishment for her bad behavior. If that's true, you might want to rethink your involvement with her. If it isn't true, you could reconsider your decision.

I think it depeds.  If she now expects them to treat BF as "daddy" instead of ex then they need to know the new info.  And if ex has been infromed he isn't daddy then it might be a kindness to let other people know so they don't assume he is a deadbeat.
Title: Re: Friends' divorce + infidelity + lovechild on Facebook
Post by: citadelle on March 30, 2013, 03:54:21 PM
I am struck by the fact that you were glad to be moving away during her difficult time so that you could avoid "awkwardness", but have somehow become embroiled in awkward anyway.

I can't imagine an appropriate way to announce such personal information on Facebook. Why does she owe anyone the details of her divorce or especially her child's paternity? That's really personal, and not something that should be posted to 700 "friends".

Ask yourself how much of this affects you? Maybe the bit about meeting her new BF, but anything else? I don't see how. As for meeting him, wait if you'd like. But it sounds like your friend can sense that you are looking down on her choices and may assume that is why you don't want to meet him, as a punishment for her bad behavior. If that's true, you might want to rethink your involvement with her. If it isn't true, you could reconsider your decision.

I think it depeds.  If she now expects them to treat BF as "daddy" instead of ex then they need to know the new info.  And if ex has been infromed he isn't daddy then it might be a kindness to let other people know so they don't assume he is a deadbeat.

If so, I would think that best done on an individual, need-to-know basis, rather than a newsfeed blast to approx 700 people.
Title: Re: Friends' divorce + infidelity + lovechild on Facebook
Post by: blue2000 on March 30, 2013, 04:14:24 PM
If she has made it a point to change all her 'daddy' pics to an entirely different person and refused to give any explanation (even a brief non-judgmental one) she is vaguebooking. The whole 'there is some confusion about my life, PM me if you want to know' is also vaguebooking, IMO.

She is fine to not give announcements. She is fine if she does want to announce things. This halfway-almost-announce-what-gets-attention garbage is not fine. But she is an adult. You can't make her straighten out her life or her Facebook page. I think your best bet is to stay far, far away from this drama fest.
Title: Re: Friends' divorce + infidelity + lovechild on Facebook
Post by: nikkib on March 30, 2013, 04:18:09 PM
Gaah wall of text...  :o.
You've solved your own problem right here.

As for your questions...

No-one has any obligation to announce anything publicly, on social media sites or otherwise, which is a personal or family matter. Paternity and divorce both come under this heading. Frankly, it's none of anyone else's business, and if they can't cope with not knowing, then they've been watching far too much trashy daytime television. If your 'friend' does not portray herself consistently on facebook or anywhere else for that matter, she will simply have to deal with it when confusion naturally arises in conversation and the like. But the notion that anyone is obligated to announce such personal things online is absurd at best. Any announcement is made only because one wants one's friends and family to know something, not because one is somehow bound to tell them. If she doesn't want certain things known, that's all there is to it.

With accepting new partners, that depends of course on the people involved. There is no single rule for everyone. Although I would strongly advise against poisoning the well and forming poor opinions of someone unaware and innocent of past drama.

Sorry for the wall of text, but unfortunately even with all of that I still was not able to include all of the details if this situation...it would be one thing if she didn't want to tell people the details, but the fact is she has no problem with people knowing and by confusing all of our mutual friends with the sudden appearance of her new relationship and clearly portraying the new BF as the baby's father when everyone was previously led to believe her husband was the father, she has put me in an uncomfortable predicament when people are asking ME what is going on, knowing I am one of her good friends and the baby's "godmother"...

I'm not quite sure what you mean by "poisoning the well", are you referring to my opinion of her new BF? Because my reluctance to meet him (I've actually already met him at her house before when he was the BF of her SIL) had nothing to do with that, and more to do with the fact that it hasn't even been but a couple of months since she told me about it all, and with us just coming back to town to visit it was alot to take in at one time...her pushiness about it was really what upset me though, since I felt she was refusing to take our feelings into consideration at all and only cared about herself and what she wanted.
Title: Re: Friends' divorce + infidelity + lovechild on Facebook
Post by: citadelle on March 30, 2013, 04:26:22 PM
I honestly don't think it matters if someof her facebook friends are confused. They will figure it out.

If someone asks you, tell them you don't have details and they should ask her.

I think you are right and she probably is not thinking about your feelings regarding her new BF. There is a lot more going on for her.
Title: Re: Friends' divorce + infidelity + lovechild on Facebook
Post by: nikkib on March 30, 2013, 04:27:01 PM
Quote
If so, I would think that best done on an individual, need-to-know basis, rather than a newsfeed blast to approx 700 people.

I was thinking an easy solution for this problem, if she obviously doesn't know all 700 "friends" well enough to explain something so embarrassing and personal, would be to make lists of "real" friends and "online only" friends, and then make the announcement to only the "real" friend list. Problem solved. But in realty, I think she is wanting to keep it one-on-one so she can twist the details so suit whoever she is talking to...which I know for a fact she has done already in talking to another one of her close friends about it. And that is another reason I'm not too sure I want to be friends with her anymore.
Title: Re: Friends' divorce + infidelity + lovechild on Facebook
Post by: nikkib on March 30, 2013, 04:35:19 PM
I am struck by the fact that you were glad to be moving away during her difficult time so that you could avoid "awkwardness", but have somehow become embroiled in awkward anyway.

I can't imagine an appropriate way to announce such personal information on Facebook. Why does she owe anyone the details of her divorce or especially her child's paternity? That's really personal, and not something that should be posted to 700 "friends".

Ask yourself how much of this affects you? Maybe the bit about meeting her new BF, but anything else? I don't see how. As for meeting him, wait if you'd like. But it sounds like your friend can sense that you are looking down on her choices and may assume that is why you don't want to meet him, as a punishment for her bad behavior. If that's true, you might want to rethink your involvement with her. If it isn't true, you could reconsider your decision.

I was only referring to her initial divorce announcement in my "avoiding the awkwardness" reference, and yes it was a selfish motive...my becoming embroiled in it happened when I came to visit and was asked repeatedly by various mutual friends what was the deal with her and this new guy in all of her pics...I relayed that to her so that she would know there was confusion out there, since I knew she probably wasn't aware of it. I thought she would feel it was better to have people hear directly from her, rather than playing this ridiculous game of telephone. Her response was she didn't mind if untold them for her, which I felt was absurd. I shouldn't have to be the one telling people about that when she could settle it easily by explaining it herself.
Title: Re: Friends' divorce + infidelity + lovechild on Facebook
Post by: nikkib on March 30, 2013, 04:49:18 PM
If she has made it a point to change all her 'daddy' pics to an entirely different person and refused to give any explanation (even a brief non-judgmental one) she is vaguebooking. The whole 'there is some confusion about my life, PM me if you want to know' is also vaguebooking, IMO.

She is fine to not give announcements. She is fine if she does want to announce things. This halfway-almost-announce-what-gets-attention garbage is not fine. But she is an adult. You can't make her straighten out her life or her Facebook page. I think your best bet is to stay far, far away from this drama fest.

This is exactly what the problem is. My DH even told her what she was doing was vaguebooking, and she denied it. It is just so frustrating to see her clearly doing this for the sake of dragging the drama out for as long as possible and trying to rope me into the mess as well, hence my frustration.
Title: Re: Friends' divorce + infidelity + lovechild on Facebook
Post by: afbluebelle on March 30, 2013, 04:54:29 PM
I vote you just stay friends with the husband... seems less confusing.
Don't all divorced people split custody of shared friends? :P
Title: Re: Friends' divorce + infidelity + lovechild on Facebook
Post by: stargazer on March 30, 2013, 05:11:24 PM
Tell mutual friends whatever you want to tell them if they keep asking (tell her you're going to).  Anything else strikes me as MYOB.
Title: Re: Friends' divorce + infidelity + lovechild on Facebook
Post by: miranova on March 30, 2013, 05:23:16 PM
I think you are way too emotionally involved in all of this.  I wouldn't spend the amount of time you spent typing this on thinking about this.  It's just not your problem and you can't solve it anyway.  Whether or not her friends are confused is not your problem to solve.  It doesn't even sound like it bothers her if her friends are confused.  The only person who seems to be bothered by that is you.  Why do you care so much?

About meeting her new man.  I get why it's awkward.  I get why you don't want to do it.  I don't even totally disagree.  However, if someone refused to meet my theoretical boyfriend out of some kind of judgment of my choices, I don't see how we could be friends after that.  Either accept her for who she is, or move on and let the friendship die.  I am not aware of any friendships that can survive "I refuse to meet the man you love, but hey, we can still be friends!"  I just don't see that ever working.
Title: Re: Friends' divorce + infidelity + lovechild on Facebook
Post by: breny on March 30, 2013, 05:26:40 PM
I don't understand why you think this is your problem to solve. Simply refer any questions to your friend.
Title: Re: Friends' divorce + infidelity + lovechild on Facebook
Post by: nikkib on March 30, 2013, 06:30:40 PM
I think you are way too emotionally involved in all of this.  I wouldn't spend the amount of time you spent typing this on thinking about this.  It's just not your problem and you can't solve it anyway.  Whether or not her friends are confused is not your problem to solve.  It doesn't even sound like it bothers her if her friends are confused.  The only person who seems to be bothered by that is you.  Why do you care so much?

About meeting her new man.  I get why it's awkward.  I get why you don't want to do it.  I don't even totally disagree.  However, if someone refused to meet my theoretical boyfriend out of some kind of judgment of my choices, I don't see how we could be friends after that.  Either accept her for who she is, or move on and let the friendship die.  I am not aware of any friendships that can survive "I refuse to meet the man you love, but hey, we can still be friends!"  I just don't see that ever working.

See the thing is, I told her repeatedly that it wasn't that we didn't EVER want to see him, we just wanted to spend some time with her first, and try to adjust to accepting her not being with her husband anymore IRL (not just on FB) before jumping into hanging out with her and her new BF. And in fact, after I told her no the first time, she kept asking and eventually I said ok, but she still didn't show up. So I'm pretty sure she has some other issues going in we aren't aware of, and/or her own mental & emotional issues stemming from the whole thing that are clouding her judgment. I suggested she seek some professional help, not in a mean snarky way but just being honest, because I know there is no way anyone could go through everything she is going through without needing it, and she said she can't afford it. I've tried everything else I can to help her and there is nothing more I can do for her as her friend, so it is just frustrating.
Title: Re: Friends' divorce + infidelity + lovechild on Facebook
Post by: Sharnita on March 30, 2013, 06:46:52 PM
I don't think there is anything more you can or should do as far as etiquette goes. It doesn't soound like she wants to be helped so after an initial attempt I would not force the issue.  She knows how to contact you if she changes her mind.
Title: Re: Friends' divorce + infidelity + lovechild on Facebook
Post by: Hmmmmm on March 30, 2013, 08:25:35 PM
I think you were in the wrong to refuse to visit with her if her BF attended. The idea that you would view the child differently just seems off to me.

It is of no ones concern who the biological father of the child is. Why would this even be raised unless people are gossiping.  She confided to you in confidence.  Her ex-DH is the child's father.

If someone asks about photos say "sorry, I don't know much. Why don't you ask friend".  Honestly, it sounds like a lot of HS gossiping and drama by all parties.
Title: Re: Friends' divorce + infidelity + lovechild on Facebook
Post by: Sharnita on March 30, 2013, 08:41:50 PM
I think you were in the wrong to refuse to visit with her if her BF attended. The idea that you would view the child differently just seems off to me.

It is of no ones concern who the biological father of the child is. Why would this even be raised unless people are gossiping.  She confided to you in confidence.  Her ex-DH is the child's father.

If someone asks about photos say "sorry, I don't know much. Why don't you ask friend".  Honestly, it sounds like a lot of HS gossiping and drama by all parties.

I don't think that refusing to indicate with BF means they see the child differently.  I think it might mean they are coming to terms with how they see the adults who they previously knew as the loving spouses of other people.  I think I might feel a bit like their dupe so I don't know that I would be in the "Isn't it great that this relationship is in the open and I am now asked to acknowledge it" mindset.  It wouldn't have anything to do with the baby.
Title: Re: Friends' divorce + infidelity + lovechild on Facebook
Post by: delabela on March 30, 2013, 09:05:38 PM
From your description, your friend has certainly not acted honorably in her personal life.  But I don't see where she has acted badly towards you (indeed, please forgive me, but I see a lot of judgment in your posts - why did you need to mention that she portrayed her relationship with her husband as "so in love"?)

From an etiquette perspective, she is absolutely not obligated to share personal information on facebook, even if not sharing that info causes some confusion. 

Relationships are complicated, and I frequently remind myself I don't know what goes on behind someone else's closed door.  As a friend, I may feel entitled to information or to have my opinion listened to, but if the person does want to share or listen, so be it. 

Not that I don't understand your frustration with the situation - I do.  I just don't think there really is a means to address it. 
Title: Re: Friends' divorce + infidelity + lovechild on Facebook
Post by: Promise on March 30, 2013, 09:58:42 PM
You have every right to not associate with her anymore. I think you are putting your values on her without her having asked for your advice though. I've had friends who have done all kinds of bad things, but then confess and turn away from it. You know their character then - people who can admit they did wrong and not do it again.  Look, honestly, if a friend did this, I wouldn't have the respect for her. I don't support a person who commits adultery, then isn't repentant about it. Even Jesus told the woman to not do it any more. Your friend not only did that, she wants you to be happy about it. That's brazen and just ugly. You don't have to. It's the price people pay to indulge in their own selfishness.
Title: Re: Friends' divorce + infidelity + lovechild on Facebook
Post by: nikkib on March 30, 2013, 10:11:44 PM
From your description, your friend has certainly not acted honorably in her personal life.  But I don't see where she has acted badly towards you (indeed, please forgive me, but I see a lot of judgment in your posts - why did you need to mention that she portrayed her relationship with her husband as "so in love"?)

From an etiquette perspective, she is absolutely not obligated to share personal information on facebook, even if not sharing that info causes some confusion. 

Relationships are complicated, and I frequently remind myself I don't know what goes on behind someone else's closed door.  As a friend, I may feel entitled to information or to have my opinion listened to, but if the person does want to share or listen, so be it. 

Not that I don't understand your frustration with the situation - I do.  I just don't think there really is a means to address it.

If I seemed to be judgmental in my initial post, it is only because I felt extremely betrayed by her - and her ex - not only with the whole situation with the baby (if you recall we were asked to be the godparents, which I feel is more or less nullified now since the true father doesn't know us well enough to have asked us to be godparents for his baby) but also with their marriage as a whole, since they had only been married for two years and for her to say he confessed that he "didn't love her and never had", and for her to then confess she didn't think she had ever really loved him either - when we had all witnessed their overly-gushy behavior towards each other for years, especially at their wedding - just felt so incredibly deceptive and fake. Of course I can't say what might have gone on behind closed doors and everything, and it was their choice how they chose to present themselves and their relationship...but then you must be prepared for the consequences when those falsehoods are exposed.
Title: Re: Friends' divorce + infidelity + lovechild on Facebook
Post by: nikkib on March 30, 2013, 10:17:21 PM
I think you were in the wrong to refuse to visit with her if her BF attended. The idea that you would view the child differently just seems off to me.

It is of no ones concern who the biological father of the child is. Why would this even be raised unless people are gossiping.  She confided to you in confidence.  Her ex-DH is the child's father.

If someone asks about photos say "sorry, I don't know much. Why don't you ask friend".  Honestly, it sounds like a lot of HS gossiping and drama by all parties.

Unfortunately, I happen to live in the real world where people don't go having babies with men other than their husbands, lie to everyone about it, and no one bats an eye or questions anything. She didn't "confide" in me, she just told me the truth about something she thought I had heard about already from someone else (which I hadn't). As I've said multiple times, none of this is a secret she doesn't want anyone to know about, she is just going about disseminating the information to her hundreds of "friends" in an unnecessarily confusing way.

I suppose I was hoping that in posting on here that I would receive some helpful tips from others who might be more experienced with touchy situations such as this when it comes to FB, which I could then relay to her since she really doesn't seem to know how to best handle this. I did my research on this forum before posting, and have seen other situations where advice was asked for and received, not just judgment and snide remarks.
Title: Re: Friends' divorce + infidelity + lovechild on Facebook
Post by: Pen^2 on March 30, 2013, 11:12:58 PM
I suppose I was hoping that in posting on here that I would receive some helpful tips from others who might be more experienced with touchy situations such as this when it comes to FB, which I could then relay to her since she really doesn't seem to know how to best handle this. I did my research on this forum before posting, and have seen other situations where advice was asked for and received, not just judgment and snide remarks.

What further advice are you exactly looking for? The original questions in your post have all been addressed in responses. The fact is, from all you've said, this person is not receptive to advice, and to push further or try to make her listen when she isn't inclined to would be rude. If she wants advice, it's out there, she just has to want to get it. You can only open the door, you can't make her walk through it, as it were. If she comes to you sincerely asking for advice, that's a whole different kettle of fish.

It's her life, and although she has made decisions and is doing things which you are not comfortable with and feel are bad choices, they're her choices to make, not yours. If she wants to go down that path, there's nothing you can in good conscience do. You can express disapproval, but if she still wants to do things a certain way, then you cannot continue to make your disapproval known while still being polite. You can't control someone who wants to do the wrong thing, as frustrating as it can be. It's not your problem, although I know it can feel otherwise since it impacts you. If she wants to confuse the people around her and make destructive choices, that's her right, and you mustn't involve yourself in trying to change that.
Title: Re: Friends' divorce + infidelity + lovechild on Facebook
Post by: GreenBird on March 30, 2013, 11:14:05 PM
Has she asked you how she should handle this on Facebook?  If she hasn't explicitly asked for your advice, I think you need stop trying to tell her how to handle it.  It doesn't sound like she's going to listen to unsolicited advice, and trying to get her to handle things a certain way is just going to put an additional strain on the friendship, and on you. 

I'd recommend taking a deep breath and reminding yourself that you can't control her life and her choices.  When people ask you questions about her, you can deflect the questions by saying things like:   
"I can't keep up with what's going on with her; you'd really have to ask her". 
"I find it very confusing; you'll have to ask her."
"I'm really not sure what's going on; you'll have to ask her."
Just keep telling people you're not clear about what's going on (which is true), and redirecting them to her (which is where they should go for information anyway).  It'll feel awkward at first, but it will get easier after you've deflected a few times. 

And maybe I'd quit looking at her Facebook posts for awhile - they're just going to make you feel crazy (I know they'd make me frustrated!)
Title: Re: Friends' divorce + infidelity + lovechild on Facebook
Post by: katycoo on March 31, 2013, 12:24:59 AM
Me thinks you're not being as non-judgmental about all this as you think you are.  You seem to have very strong opinions on what has happened in her personal life, and her obligations to inform everyone else.

1. How should a divorce announcement be handled on FB? Especially with children involved, a multitude of mutual friends and goal of maintaining amicability? Oh and can't forget about the mutual infidelity too...

However the person getting divorced feels like handling it.  It's their personal business.  They can share, or not share, however they like.  Most people who they are truily friends with will find out IRL interactions along the way.  Everyone they don't know IRL probably won't know their ex-partner, or care very much.  If you don't see someone often enough to hear it directly, then you're not close enough to be entitled to the information.

2. How soon after such a divorce/separation should mutual friends be expected to accept the new BF/GF? In this case, no divorce or separation papers have even been filed yet nor do they seem to be in a hurry to do so, so it is hard to expect a typical timeframe for being "officially divorced" :/

No divorce is typical.  People move on as they move on.  In a situation like this, one party must compromise, or choose their stance over the friendship.  If sounds like you both have chosen your stance.

3. What obligation, if any, could someone be expected to have to explain the true paternity of their child on FB? Especially when they are in a new relationship with the true father, and seem to make no secret of his relation...but haven't come right out and said it.

The trust paternity of the child is noones business except the child. I would NEVER expect this kind of information to be posted on social media.
Title: Re: Friends' divorce + infidelity + lovechild on Facebook
Post by: zyrs on March 31, 2013, 01:54:49 AM
Honestly, I would just stay out of it and redirect any questions you are asked back to her.

Title: Re: Friends' divorce + infidelity + lovechild on Facebook
Post by: cass2591 on March 31, 2013, 02:29:55 AM
Quote
I suppose I was hoping that in posting on here that I would receive some helpful tips from others who might be more experienced with touchy situations such as this when it comes to FB, which I could then relay to her since she really doesn't seem to know how to best handle this. I did my research on this forum before posting, and have seen other situations where advice was asked for and received, not just judgment and snide remarks.

Should the OP return, let me say this.

Your OP and follow up posts are so fraught with dramatic and extraneous info that to claim you only wanted advice on how to respond to her on FB is unrealistic. Of course people are going to react.

As for your research, apparently you didn't do enough. You didn't notice that it's not uncommon to question OPs and ask questions if necessary? Scolding people who took the time to reply to your post because you didn't like what they wrote isn't exactly gracious.


Title: Re: Friends' divorce + infidelity + lovechild on Facebook
Post by: Tea Drinker on March 31, 2013, 09:52:08 AM
Yes, she's vaguebooking. In such a situation, I would tell the person either "I'm going to answer if people ask me" or "I'm going to tell anyone who asks me about this that I'm confused myself, and that they should ask you," and then do it.

Beyond that, I think that a child's parents are the people who step up and take responsibility. This often but not always matches with biological parenthood, for a variety of reasons (including adoption, divorce or widowhood and remarriage, and donor insemination). Barring evidence of actual abuse, I would do nothing to interfere with those parent-child connections, even if I was dubious about how they were formed. The child may need or want to know the biological connections for medical reasons, but that's between her, her parents, and her doctor.
Title: Re: Friends' divorce + infidelity + lovechild on Facebook
Post by: MorgnsGrl on March 31, 2013, 10:18:52 AM
Unfortunately, I happen to live in the real world where people don't go having babies with men other than their husbands, lie to everyone about it, and no one bats an eye or questions anything.

Actually, in the real world it would appear that this and other things like it DO happen. To me you are coming across as someone who has already judged her friends and is looking for people to agree with you about how horrible and unworthy they are. I understand that this might not be the actual situation, but it's how you're coming across. If you don't want to be friends with her anymore, that's OKAY. You don't need reasons or approval. 
Title: Re: Friends' divorce + infidelity + lovechild on Facebook
Post by: miranova on March 31, 2013, 08:06:44 PM
You have every right to not associate with her anymore. I think you are putting your values on her without her having asked for your advice though. I've had friends who have done all kinds of bad things, but then confess and turn away from it. You know their character then - people who can admit they did wrong and not do it again.  Look, honestly, if a friend did this, I wouldn't have the respect for her. I don't support a person who commits adultery, then isn't repentant about it. Even Jesus told the woman to not do it any more. Your friend not only did that, she wants you to be happy about it. That's brazen and just ugly. You don't have to. It's the price people pay to indulge in their own selfishness.

If I had a friend who was doing these thing with absolutely zero remorse about the consequences to other people, I agree that I'd not want to associate with her any more.  But then I'd do just that....stop associating.  There is no reason that it would be my business or responsibility to inform the entire world about this friend's actions and make sure they know "THE TRUTH" about her child.  That's just gossiping.

The only people who have a right to know are the people immediately and directly affected (the child, the ex, the bio father, etc).
Title: Re: Friends' divorce + infidelity + lovechild on Facebook
Post by: nikkib on March 31, 2013, 09:51:28 PM
Quote
Actually, in the real world it would appear that this and other things like it DO happen. To me you are coming across as someone who has already judged her friends and is looking for people to agree with you about how horrible and unworthy they are. I understand that this might not be the actual situation, but it's how you're coming across. If you don't want to be friends with her anymore, that's OKAY. You don't need reasons or approval.

This is entirely untrue. If you would refer to my OP, I clearly stated what I was looking for - on a forum supposedly dedicated to etiquette of all types, which is solely where my concern lies. All of the responses from others questioning my reasoning for why I feel the way have nothing whatsoever to do with my questions, and only served to further muddle this entire thread.
Title: Re: Friends' divorce + infidelity + lovechild on Facebook
Post by: nikkib on March 31, 2013, 09:58:46 PM
In my OP, I supplied all of the details for the situation I had etiquette questions about because I thought they would be needed to form the etiquette-related opinions necessary. I did NOT ask for anyone to agree with my, or judge the situation at all, which is what the majority of the responses on this thread have done. If you don't like the way I wrote it, or what my position is, that has nothing at all to do with the etiquette questions I have asked. I thought the name of this forum was Etiquette Hell, after all; not Judgment Hell. I am looking for whatever useful information I can find to possibly help my friend deal with a complicated situation, which as some have said I can suggest to her and leave it at that. I'm not going to bully her or lose sleep over any of this, so everyone can stop telling ME what *I* should do here, which is exactly the kind of unsolicited advice you are all condemning me for supposedly giving. @@
Title: Re: Friends' divorce + infidelity + lovechild on Facebook
Post by: sammycat on March 31, 2013, 10:02:09 PM
If I was in this situation, I  would simply refer the people questioning me to the friend. What she tells people is up to her.

She sounds like a major self absorbed drama queen, and I don't have the time or energy for people like this, so I'd just let the friendship drop. I wouldn't initiate contact, comment on her facebook posts etc; I'd just let things drift away.
Title: Re: Friends' divorce + infidelity + lovechild on Facebook
Post by: snowdragon on March 31, 2013, 10:08:40 PM
1. How should a divorce announcement be handled on FB? Especially with children involved, a multitude of mutual friends and goal of maintaining amicability? Oh and can't forget about the mutual infidelity too...

None of this is anybodies business - nor is the state of their relationship. ( mutual infidelities or not) 


2. How soon after such a divorce/separation should mutual friends be expected to accept the new BF/GF? In this case, no divorce or separation papers have even been filed yet nor do they seem to be in a hurry to do so, so it is hard to expect a typical timeframe for being "officially divorced" :/

depends on if you want to remain friends with them.....she's right if she considers him her new SO - excluding him can only harm your friendship
 

3. What obligation, if any, could someone be expected to have to explain the true paternity of their child on FB? Especially when they are in a new relationship with the true father, and seem to make no secret of his relation...but haven't come right out and said it.

Absolutely none. It's not your business or anyone else's and if she is not being explicit about it, you have no right to do that for her.


While I would have a hard time being friends with her, her husband or the BFF  after all this, I would also have problems being friends with someone who broke the "news" of the child's paternity, or the state of someone else's relationship - I would never be able to trust the news breaker again.
Title: Re: Friends' divorce + infidelity + lovechild on Facebook
Post by: nikkib on March 31, 2013, 10:17:23 PM
Quote
3. What obligation, if any, could someone be expected to have to explain the true paternity of their child on FB? Especially when they are in a new relationship with the true father, and seem to make no secret of his relation...but haven't come right out and said it.

Absolutely none. It's not your business or anyone else's and if she is not being explicit about it, you have no right to do that for her.


While I would have a hard time being friends with her, her husband or the BFF  after all this, I would also have problems being friends with someone who broke the "news" of the child's paternity, or the state of someone else's relationship - I would never be able to trust the news breaker again.

Whoooaaaa wait a minute I never said *I* was going to break any of her news for her, I am only asking for help to relay to her to help her to handle the situation on her FB profile.
Title: Re: Friends' divorce + infidelity + lovechild on Facebook
Post by: snowdragon on March 31, 2013, 10:22:11 PM
Quote
3. What obligation, if any, could someone be expected to have to explain the true paternity of their child on FB? Especially when they are in a new relationship with the true father, and seem to make no secret of his relation...but haven't come right out and said it.

Absolutely none. It's not your business or anyone else's and if she is not being explicit about it, you have no right to do that for her.


While I would have a hard time being friends with her, her husband or the BFF  after all this, I would also have problems being friends with someone who broke the "news" of the child's paternity, or the state of someone else's relationship - I would never be able to trust the news breaker again.

Whoooaaaa wait a minute I never said *I* was going to break any of her news for her, I am only asking for help to relay to her to help her to handle the situation on her FB profile.

that's not your business either.  And you did say others are asking you for info, I'd just be keeping my nose out of it because I know it's not mine or anyone's business. 

And you did tell someone...we may not know these folks but you did tell us.  If anyone who knows these folks figured out who you were talking about ( or thought they did) it could change their opinions of you, too.

my best advice is just stay out of it.
Title: Re: Friends' divorce + infidelity + lovechild on Facebook
Post by: Promise on March 31, 2013, 11:10:45 PM
As to etiquette, stay out of it. Multiple people here have said to refer people to her if you are asked. She created the mess, it's up to her to handle it on FB. She does not need to say anything on FB. If she has a new boyfriend, she can put up a photo of him and her. People will figure it out. The child's paternity has no business on FB. Perhaps I'm old fashioned, but as to the length of time to "accept" the new one; probably never. I'd be respectful in their presence if we were at the same place at the same time, but the couple would not be invited to any of my events. She still MARRIED. Honor marriage even if others don't. Again, it really goes to show about her character. Why be friends with someone like that? Bad company corrupts good character.
Title: Re: Friends' divorce + infidelity + lovechild on Facebook
Post by: LifeOnPluto on April 01, 2013, 12:47:03 AM
For the record, I think your friend is gutless. It sounds like she's deliberately putting enough info on her Facebook (the changed status and the "Daddy" pics) for people to "figure it out" themselves. But at the same time, she's avoiding telling people outright. I suppose that's because telling people outright might lead to tricky conversations, which wouldn't paint her in a very good light.

It might not be rude (it is her Facebook page, after all, and she can do what she wants) but IMO, it's pretty gutless.

As posters have said, I wouldn't advise her on anything further re: Facebook.

The other issue is in regards to meeting her new boyfriend. My parents were recently in a similar situation. They were close friends with "Bob and Jane", who were married for 40 years. Bob had an affair with a much younger woman (scarcely older than his own daughter). He walked out on Jane to be with his mistress. He rang my parents, very excited, and told them that he'd left Jane, and moved in with his girlfriend. He wanted to bring her around to meet my parents.

My parents conferred with each other, and informed Bob that in the fullness of time, they'd be glad to meet his girlfriend. But not right away. They asked Bob to give them some time to adjust to the new situation - a couple of months at least.

Now, if Bob had thrown a hissy fit, and told them if they refused to immediately accept the new girlfriend, they wouldn't be seeing him either, my parents would NOT have stayed friends with Bob. As it happened, Bob said, "That's cool, I understand".

(All of this turned out to be a moot point anyway, as before the couple of months were up, Bob decided he wanted to stay married, and left his mistress to return to Jane.)

So my short answer is - you were NOT rude in asking your friend to give you some time, before meeting her new boyfriend. I think her response was unreasonable and rude.
Title: Re: Friends' divorce + infidelity + lovechild on Facebook
Post by: GSNW on April 01, 2013, 01:24:46 AM
1. How should a divorce announcement be handled on FB? Especially with children involved, a multitude of mutual friends and goal of maintaining amicability? Oh and can't forget about the mutual infidelity too...

2. How soon after such a divorce/separation should mutual friends be expected to accept the new BF/GF? In this case, no divorce or separation papers have even been filed yet nor do they seem to be in a hurry to do so, so it is hard to expect a typical timeframe for being "officially divorced" :/

3. What obligation, if any, could someone be expected to have to explain the true paternity of their child on FB? Especially when they are in a new relationship with the true father, and seem to make no secret of his relation...but haven't come right out and said it.


1.  I feel like a divorce announcement on FB is in poor taste.  I realize it's easy to see at times when people change their significant other status, but I wouldn't call that an "announcement," exactly.  Anything beyond a quiet change in status is just a plea for attention and an excuse to drag ugly details into a place they really don't belong.  And it's juvenile.

2.  Accepting the new significant other in your friend's life is your decision, but I think it's rude to expect her to exclude him from socializing simply because you can't take it.  If you can't deal with it, then don't see her, or ask her out for a girl's lunch (meaning your DH is not invited, either).  I understand that it might be awkward, but it shows maturity and a gracious character if you can accept that your friend is now involved with someone else.  Your approval of how they came to be involved is unnecessary.

3.  A child's "true paternity" is also not a topic I would choose to discuss on Facebook.  It's not really anyone else's business.  Do you think she needs to be outed for her initial deception?  I agree with others - if common friends are asking you questions, refer them to your friend.  Otherwise it just comes off as gossipy - and again, juvenile.
Title: Re: Friends' divorce + infidelity + lovechild on Facebook
Post by: cass2591 on April 01, 2013, 01:28:25 AM
OP, has your friend asked for your advice on any of this?
Title: Re: Friends' divorce + infidelity + lovechild on Facebook
Post by: katycoo on April 01, 2013, 01:36:57 AM
Quote
Actually, in the real world it would appear that this and other things like it DO happen. To me you are coming across as someone who has already judged her friends and is looking for people to agree with you about how horrible and unworthy they are. I understand that this might not be the actual situation, but it's how you're coming across. If you don't want to be friends with her anymore, that's OKAY. You don't need reasons or approval.

This is entirely untrue. If you would refer to my OP, I clearly stated what I was looking for - on a forum supposedly dedicated to etiquette of all types, which is solely where my concern lies. All of the responses from others questioning my reasoning for why I feel the way have nothing whatsoever to do with my questions, and only served to further muddle this entire thread.

In my OP, I supplied all of the details for the situation I had etiquette questions about because I thought they would be needed to form the etiquette-related opinions necessary. I did NOT ask for anyone to agree with my, or judge the situation at all, which is what the majority of the responses on this thread have done. If you don't like the way I wrote it, or what my position is, that has nothing at all to do with the etiquette questions I have asked. I thought the name of this forum was Etiquette Hell, after all; not Judgment Hell. I am looking for whatever useful information I can find to possibly help my friend deal with a complicated situation, which as some have said I can suggest to her and leave it at that. I'm not going to bully her or lose sleep over any of this, so everyone can stop telling ME what *I* should do here, which is exactly the kind of unsolicited advice you are all condemning me for supposedly giving. @@

We're telling you what you should do because etiquette says keep your nose out of it.  Your friend doesn not need help handling this situation because she has no obligation to share the information which you think she should.  She's 'handling' it just fine on her own.  If people ask you what's going on, tell them that you prefer to stay out of it, but you know she's open to being asked directly.
Title: Re: Friends' divorce + infidelity + lovechild on Facebook
Post by: Twik on April 01, 2013, 09:07:48 AM
Quote
3. What obligation, if any, could someone be expected to have to explain the true paternity of their child on FB? Especially when they are in a new relationship with the true father, and seem to make no secret of his relation...but haven't come right out and said it.

Absolutely none. It's not your business or anyone else's and if she is not being explicit about it, you have no right to do that for her.


While I would have a hard time being friends with her, her husband or the BFF  after all this, I would also have problems being friends with someone who broke the "news" of the child's paternity, or the state of someone else's relationship - I would never be able to trust the news breaker again.

Whoooaaaa wait a minute I never said *I* was going to break any of her news for her, I am only asking for help to relay to her to help her to handle the situation on her FB profile.

nikkib, I understand the temptation that these dramatic sort of people create. They (intentionally or not) create a grand soap opera, and appear to invite audience participation.

But as most posters have said, your only solution for both etiquette and your own peace of mind is to keep out of it. Take it from someone who's been there, she won't listen to your advice, no matter how much thought you put into it. She won't start running her life along the lines you think you should.

It sounds like you really don't respect her, or really like her much now. The best thing would be to let the friendship fade. You're at different points in your life now.
Title: Re: Friends' divorce + infidelity + lovechild on Facebook
Post by: nikkib on April 01, 2013, 11:12:21 AM
Thank you everyone for your responses. I wasn't quite sure how I was going to go about suggesting any possible advice to her anyways, since I had vowed to myself to just try to avoid the subject as much as possible in any further interactions with her...and since yesterday was my birthday and she apparently couldn't be bothered to call, text or even FB post to wish me Happy Birthday, it would seem our friendship is basically dead in the water anyways (and she is very active on FB constantly and regularly uses such "silent treatment" to express her displeasure with people). I think if nothing else, this experience gave me plenty of material for studying how people should/shouldn't handle their personal lives on FB, especially someone who has normally over-shared every aspect of their life but suddenly realizes the truth may paint them in a light they don't particularly want to be in. Such is the world we now live in...
Title: Re: Friends' divorce + infidelity + lovechild on Facebook
Post by: snowdragon on April 01, 2013, 11:22:30 AM
Thank you everyone for your responses. I wasn't quite sure how I was going to go about suggesting any possible advice to her anyways, since I had vowed to myself to just try to avoid the subject as much as possible in any further interactions with her...and since yesterday was my birthday and she apparently couldn't be bothered to call, text or even FB post to wish me Happy Birthday, it would seem our friendship is basically dead in the water anyways (and she is very active on FB constantly and regularly uses such "silent treatment" to express her displeasure with people). I think if nothing else, this experience gave me plenty of material for studying how people should/shouldn't handle their personal lives on FB, especially someone who has normally over-shared every aspect of their life but suddenly realizes the truth may paint them in a light they don't particularly want to be in. Such is the world we now live in...

Happy Birthday!!! I hope it was wonderful for you.
Title: Re: Friends' divorce + infidelity + lovechild on Facebook
Post by: BarensMom on April 01, 2013, 11:33:21 AM
Nikkib, I hope you had a good birthday, and eat some leftover cake for me. 

For your own peace of mind, I would consider either hiding the feed or defriending this person on FB.  It sounds as if her life is a train wreck; at first everyone wants to watch, but after a time, it just becomes irritating and exhausting.  This has taken up too much space in your head as is, and, since she couldn't be bothered to wish you a happy birthday, I'd say this "friendship" has run its course.
Title: Re: Friends' divorce + infidelity + lovechild on Facebook
Post by: bah12 on April 01, 2013, 11:55:35 AM
While I can definitely understand your frustration with your friend (especially if her actions surprised you), I do think that frustration/shock is coming across pretty judgementally.

Your friend has no obligation to explain herself on facebook or clarify the paternity of her child.  Furthermore, her friends are in the wrong for asking you to pass on anything you know to them.  It's gossip and it's not cool.

I think how people handle divorce on FB is similar to how they would do it in real life...everyone is different.  Some are more open than others.  Some reveal every detail and others just let people figure it out on their own.  There are more classy ways to handle it than others, but there's no textbook answer to dealing with life's changes.

As for you and her, I think she's right when she says that her new BF is part of her package.  He is.  And you're either able to accept him or you're not.  For a close friend, I would try.  But if you can't bring yourself to do it...if you can't think of her the same way you did before all of this, then there's nothing wrong with it.  But, you should quietly end the friendship.  Because it's not fair for you to insist that she not bring her BF around because you aren't ready to accept him or that she "come clean" about her baby's father, etc.  It is fair to say "You know, your ex husband and DH are really close and it's awkward for us to talk about the new BF and the baby when a good friend has been hurt.  We'd prefer to stay out of your private affairs and we understand that it's unfair of us to ask you to shut out a big part of your life when you are with us.  I think it would be better for all of us to back off for a time and let things settle a bit."  (and this only if she insists you tell her why you are backing away).

And for her "friends" that are asking you for those details?  Just say to them. "It's not my place to say and honestly it's none of my business.  Here, have some beandip."
Title: Re: Friends' divorce + infidelity + lovechild on Facebook
Post by: Twik on April 01, 2013, 01:44:30 PM
Thank you everyone for your responses. I wasn't quite sure how I was going to go about suggesting any possible advice to her anyways, since I had vowed to myself to just try to avoid the subject as much as possible in any further interactions with her...and since yesterday was my birthday and she apparently couldn't be bothered to call, text or even FB post to wish me Happy Birthday, it would seem our friendship is basically dead in the water anyways (and she is very active on FB constantly and regularly uses such "silent treatment" to express her displeasure with people). I think if nothing else, this experience gave me plenty of material for studying how people should/shouldn't handle their personal lives on FB, especially someone who has normally over-shared every aspect of their life but suddenly realizes the truth may paint them in a light they don't particularly want to be in. Such is the world we now live in...

Well, Happy Birthday!

I'd write her off as a friend, and not worry about her any further, other than a source of amusement if you want to keep friends with her on FB.
Title: Re: Friends' divorce + infidelity + lovechild on Facebook
Post by: Mental Magpie on April 01, 2013, 09:21:18 PM
1. How should a divorce announcement be handled on FB? Especially with children involved, a multitude of mutual friends and goal of maintaining amicability? Oh and can't forget about the mutual infidelity too...

2. How soon after such a divorce/separation should mutual friends be expected to accept the new BF/GF? In this case, no divorce or separation papers have even been filed yet nor do they seem to be in a hurry to do so, so it is hard to expect a typical timeframe for being "officially divorced" :/

3. What obligation, if any, could someone be expected to have to explain the true paternity of their child on FB? Especially when they are in a new relationship with the true father, and seem to make no secret of his relation...but haven't come right out and said it.


1.  I feel like a divorce announcement on FB is in poor taste.  I realize it's easy to see at times when people change their significant other status, but I wouldn't call that an "announcement," exactly.  Anything beyond a quiet change in status is just a plea for attention and an excuse to drag ugly details into a place they really don't belong.  And it's juvenile.

2.  Accepting the new significant other in your friend's life is your decision, but I think it's rude to expect her to exclude him from socializing simply because you can't take it.  If you can't deal with it, then don't see her, or ask her out for a girl's lunch (meaning your DH is not invited, either).  I understand that it might be awkward, but it shows maturity and a gracious character if you can accept that your friend is now involved with someone else.  Your approval of how they came to be involved is unnecessary.

3.  A child's "true paternity" is also not a topic I would choose to discuss on Facebook.  It's not really anyone else's business.  Do you think she needs to be outed for her initial deception?  I agree with others - if common friends are asking you questions, refer them to your friend.  Otherwise it just comes off as gossipy - and again, juvenile.

I agree with all of this, especially 2. While I think it was OK to ask her new BF to not come, I also think friend was right to decline. Inviting one half of a social unit, but purposefully excluding the other, while the inviter is a whole social unite just seems rude to me.
Title: Re: Friends' divorce + infidelity + lovechild on Facebook
Post by: ladyknight1 on April 01, 2013, 09:30:00 PM
I would back away from this "friend" in a hurry. There are very good reasons why I am only in contact with a few former friends from high school.
Title: Re: Friends' divorce + infidelity + lovechild on Facebook
Post by: Nemesis on April 08, 2013, 09:15:17 AM
Okay the post is very long, and follow up posts were also very long. So this will be a similarly long reply. Cookies and cream for those who made it to the end!

I would preface this by saying that I think it is normal to "judge" our friends. We all do it. Of course we do, that is why we are friends with certain people and not with others. Because we judge that Person A is a good fit for us in terms of values  or interest,  or we judge that Person B is someone we wish to avoid because of attitude and personality. So judging a friend is normal and I don't think you should be scolded for it.

Your friend cheated, lied and basically isn't the person you thought she was. In other words, you didn't sign up for this! You agreed to be a godparent of a child to someone you thought was genuinely in love, in a stable marriage and with parents who shared your values. Instead, you find out that everything is indeed not what it seems and you are upset.

First, can you put your emotions aside and just decide again if you wish to continue being the child's godparent? It was an informal arrangement anyway, so I was wondering if you can pull out. Of course, it is not the child's fault and it can be seen as punishing the child for the mother's sins. But if you cannot be supportive because there is just too much drama for you to handle, I think it is better to walk away before more damage is done to both parties. The child is just 5 months old and too young to remember you yet, so there is still time to pull out. And since you live quite a distance away, this can be used as a valid reason to suggest that your friend may need to find closer and thus more involved godparents.

Second, with your friend, I really do not think it is your place to help her with her vaguebooking. I think in terms of etiquette, it is not right to give unsolicited advice to an adult. I didn't read anywhere that she asked you for your opinions and help. In fact, your posts seem to imply that she likes her method just fine. It is you and your circle of friends who can't stand it. Please understand that while this is uncomfortable, it is a perfectly acceptable situation. I do have a number of emotional drama queens (of both genders) on my facebook, and their vaguebooking is so constant that people have stopped asking them what was wrong and just let the friendship drift away naturally. We can't stand it but most of us won't say anything about it either. Occasionally someone will post a reply of "shape up and grow up!", which we all privately agree with, but also agree that it is way too brutal and ineffective to say that.

Third, I do believe that you have been way too involved in your approach. I get the feeling from your posts (I could be wrong!) that you are an exceeding straight forward person who calls a spade a spade and doesn't think twice about hiding her opinions on things. This makes you a very honest person which is good, because people can always take you at face value and trust your words. But sometimes being too honest is brutal honesty, you know? And brutal honesty is rude, hurtful and unhelpful. It doesn't get your message across to your friend but instead will make her defensive. Sometimes, it may be wiser to just bite your tongue and keep your opinions to yourself.

Fourth, other friends asking you about what is going on is normal, since the drama is vague and intriguing. Given that this is soap opera drama played out in real life, I think etiquette-wise it will be best to give a reply "I really do not know what is going on myself. Perhaps you should ask her directly by sending her a private message on Facebook". Etiquette-wise and old age wisdom makes it clear that it is a bad idea share such personal information about someone else's life, even if it isn't a big secret.
Title: Re: Friends' divorce + infidelity + lovechild on Facebook
Post by: nikkib on April 08, 2013, 10:21:12 AM
Thank you Nemesis, you truly described me and my feelings about the situation to a "T"! I do have a hard time not being completely honest with people, and everyone who knows me knows I am a terrible liar...in fact I'm pretty sure if I tried to tell people I didn't know what was going on they would be able to tell immediately I was lying! I just feel like the world would be a much better place if people were just totally honest all the time (ever see the movie "The Invention of Lying"? lol) but I do recognize that sometimes brutal honesty does more harm than good. I haven't had much contact with my friend since our heated phone conversation, and don't really plan to...I would be totally fine with our friendship just quietly slipping away, but unfortunately with this friend being the drama queen that she is, I know she won't let that happen and I'm likely due for another ugly spat with her if I continue distancing myself as I am :/

But thank you for your insight, and for seeing where I am coming from - I do appreciate it :)
Title: Re: Friends' divorce + infidelity + lovechild on Facebook
Post by: BarensMom on April 08, 2013, 10:52:51 AM
Nikkib, don't give her the chance for an ugly squabble, if you see her in person, just greet her and say something like, "Oh, hi.  Gotta go now, I have to find a cat-specific fire extinguisher.  Have a nice day."  If she tries to pick a fight, just refuse to engage.  Always be busy, always be polite, always be vague, and always keep moving away from her.
Title: Re: Friends' divorce + infidelity + lovechild on Facebook
Post by: Twik on April 08, 2013, 12:12:55 PM
Nikkib, don't give her the chance for an ugly squabble, if you see her in person, just greet her and say something like, "Oh, hi.  Gotta go now, I have to find a cat-specific fire extinguisher.  Have a nice day."  If she tries to pick a fight, just refuse to engage.  Always be busy, always be polite, always be vague, and always keep moving away from her.

Sheer brilliance!
Title: Re: Friends' divorce + infidelity + lovechild on Facebook
Post by: TootsNYC on April 08, 2013, 02:28:24 PM
Nikkib, don't give her the chance for an ugly squabble, if you see her in person, just greet her and say something like, "Oh, hi.  Gotta go now, I have to find a cat-specific fire extinguisher.  Have a nice day."  If she tries to pick a fight, just refuse to engage.  Always be busy, always be polite, always be vague, and always keep moving away from her.

Sheer brilliance!

My thought as well.
Title: Re: Friends' divorce + infidelity + lovechild on Facebook
Post by: Cz. Burrito on April 08, 2013, 04:02:23 PM
I think you've been given some good advice here.  While your friend has handled a dramatic situation somewhat indelicately, it's not up to you to clear everything up.  If somebody asks you about it, I might respond "you'd have to ask her about that."
Title: Re: Friends' divorce + infidelity + lovechild on Facebook
Post by: katycoo on April 08, 2013, 07:10:33 PM
Thank you Nemesis, you truly described me and my feelings about the situation to a "T"! I do have a hard time not being completely honest with people, and everyone who knows me knows I am a terrible liar...in fact I'm pretty sure if I tried to tell people I didn't know what was going on they would be able to tell immediately I was lying! I just feel like the world would be a much better place if people were just totally honest all the time (ever see the movie "The Invention of Lying"? lol) but I do recognize that sometimes brutal honesty does more harm than good. I haven't had much contact with my friend since our heated phone conversation, and don't really plan to...I would be totally fine with our friendship just quietly slipping away, but unfortunately with this friend being the drama queen that she is, I know she won't let that happen and I'm likely due for another ugly spat with her if I continue distancing myself as I am :/

But thank you for your insight, and for seeing where I am coming from - I do appreciate it :)

You can re-direct without lying if that concerns you.  "I really do not feel comfortable passing on this information.  It feels gossipy.  I think it would be best to ask her directly."
Title: Re: Friends' divorce + infidelity + lovechild on Facebook
Post by: bah12 on April 09, 2013, 10:21:00 AM
Thank you Nemesis, you truly described me and my feelings about the situation to a "T"! I do have a hard time not being completely honest with people, and everyone who knows me knows I am a terrible liar...in fact I'm pretty sure if I tried to tell people I didn't know what was going on they would be able to tell immediately I was lying! I just feel like the world would be a much better place if people were just totally honest all the time (ever see the movie "The Invention of Lying"? lol) but I do recognize that sometimes brutal honesty does more harm than good. I haven't had much contact with my friend since our heated phone conversation, and don't really plan to...I would be totally fine with our friendship just quietly slipping away, but unfortunately with this friend being the drama queen that she is, I know she won't let that happen and I'm likely due for another ugly spat with her if I continue distancing myself as I am :/

But thank you for your insight, and for seeing where I am coming from - I do appreciate it :)

You don't have to lie.  You can easily say "It isn't my place to discuss this.  Please go ask her."  This is the truth.  All around. 

And, while I agree that generally speaking, the truth is usually better than lying, I disagree that in this case,  your friend coming clean to the whole world will make it a better place.  The only people she owes the truth to is herself, her new BF, her ex, and the children involved.  It's no one else's business.  And I'm still not sure what encouraging her to "come clean" on FB will accomplish except what has already occured which is the diminishing of your friendship.

So, you no longer respect her and don't value her enough as a person to continue the friendship.  That's fair.   And it's fair to say that if you aren't going to be friends with her, then your role as godparent to her child will not be effective either.  I think you can cut her off.  She can't cause additional drama for you if you don't respond to her.  You don't live near each other, so she won't be showing up at your front door any time soon.  Don't respond to email, don't answer the phone when she calls, delete her from FB.  And if anyone else asks you about it, don't respond to that either.  Like her, you don't owe them (the other friends) any explanation for why you are no longer friends.  Don't feed into the gossip mill when a simple "we haven't been in touch" is all the explanation that is needed (if that).